Thanks for joining us for the next empath interview in this series “Empaths R Are Us”! Today’s empath interview is with Dr. Michael R. Smith.
For over two decades, Dr. Michael R. Smith has helped thousands of people all over the world connect to their highest selves as a professional counselor, healing practitioner, and spiritual medium. Michael is one of only a handful of authors and coaches who specialize in the unique niche of helping empaths and highly sensitive people recognize their empathic nature as a gift. Michael’s first book, “The Complete Empath Toolkit”, was released through his website in 2009 and has become an online favorite, you can view it here.
His most recent book, Navigating 2012: Thriving in Earth’s New Age has been endorsed by New York Times bestselling authors such as Sonia Choquette. Nearly 300,000 individuals have accessed Dr. Smith’s free materials on Empath Connection, and his free monthly newsletter is nearing tens of thousands of readers. Dr. Smith lives near Denver, Colorado.
I want to thank Dr. Smith for sharing his personal experiences as an empath, and invite you to take advantage of his materials, and wisdom on this subject.
Enjoy the interview with him below!
Empath means “becoming one”. Empaths have the ability to become one with something (humans, animals, crystals, environment, etc.) How would you describe the kind of empath you are?
Yes, many kinds of merging occur. I believe we have the ability to merge with anything – if we ask and embrace the merging for a higher purpose. I have a good balance in all the 4 primary types of empathy (emotional, mental/intellectual, spiritual & physical). The bottom line is that I purposefully engage all of my senses when merging to better understand that with which I am merging.
How would you describe your most dominant empath skill?
As empaths, we each tend to have a dominant form of perception with our gifts. Some empaths can “see” , others “hear,” and others “feel”, etc.
My dominant form of perceptions are twofold
First, I immediately feel another persons energy centers (chakras) in my own body and this helps me guide my spiritual counseling & coaching practice. This is physical empathy. The gift of having this sense is that I ultimately use it to help individuals become less constricted in their energy. I consciously use this “data” to design meditations and energy exercises to help free blocked energy – and will lead my clients through these exercises so they can learn to do it on their own.
Second, I often will receive glimpses of the karma that the person is carrying (spiritual empathy). Again, I use this gift for a higher purpose to help the client better understand the energies they are being asked to transmute or “clean” for humanity. Sometimes I find that the guides I work with will vacuum the karma through me….this isn’t by my choice, it just happens. Doing this work on a daily basis requires that I be absolutely fastidious about keeping myself clean and a “hollow tube.” This is why I follow Native American spiritual practices such as purification lodges to clean any residual energy out of me, and of course, I encourage all empaths to find similar practices that work for them.
At what age did you consciously become aware that you were more sensitive than others?
I was 8 when I first realized that I understood people’s emotions. I was at a party and there was a man there who was in total despair and sadness. I went into a bedroom and cried for an hour until my parents came in and tried to console me. I didn’t realize the term empath until much, much later, around 2003.
How did this empathic ability affect your childhood?
Well, of course, it could at times be somewhat overwhelming, especially in a dysfunctional family. I tended to hide and run away to stay in balance. However, the positive aspect of being empathic is that I immediately understood people, and I could instantly surmise their motivations. This helped me to avoid trouble because I would steer clear of certain individuals. It also helped me with gaining friends because I played the counselor role for friends very early. It helped me to achieve in school, because I understood motivations of other people, including my teachers. I used that knowledge of what people wanted for my ultimate benefit. (and I would say also that came in handy when navigating through the very political waters of gaining a Ph.D!)
How did your parents or family reaction to your hypersensitivity?
For the most part, it wasn’t really dwelt upon because I don’t think my parents understood it. I was labeled as “gifted” and so that actually made me feel a little better about myself I suppose.
Did you view of your empathy change as you became an adult?
…..Hard to answer this question since I didn’t understand the concept until I was an adult.
At what age did you fully realize what being an empath meant?
I was 31 when I fully realized that I was an empath and that I would move forward with the work that I do now (2003).
What did you feel like when you realized that there were other empaths in the world?
Relieved to know that we all deal with the same struggle of trying to remain in balance when we are being bombarded with lower vibrational energy (thoughts, feelings,etc).
How would you say this empathic ability shaped your life overall?
Huge. It’s part of who I am and how I understand myself.
Do you consciously use your empathic skills in how you make a living?
Yes, I was trained as a counselor, and so I was using my intuitive skills before I even had words for it. Now I train other empaths to help make sense of their gifts through intuitive counseling, spiritual counseling, and energy work & coaching.
What are the best techniques that you have found to keep your emotional boundaries intact with others?
Visualization and creation of energy. Affirmations for myself. Realizing that I have a choice as to how I will respond to any situation, and I do not have to engage. Sometimes it’s necessary to say no to others to say yes to myself.
What is your favourite thing about being an empath?
Using it for a higher good. Serving others, and all of Creation.
What is your least favourite thing about being an empath?
Feeling physical pains of others in my own body, day after day. I’ve learned to stop fighting it, and accept it. I believe I volunteered for it, before I was born, and I must fulfill my duty by just letting any energy flow through me and staying as clean as possible so it won’t get stuck in me.
What is your best piece of advice for other empaths?
Learn to embrace the human body. Being grounded is essential to help alleviate suffering. Also, embrace the shadow. We are walkers between worlds….the worlds of heaven, and the world of Earth. That also means we can perceive, accurately, both LIGHT and DARK. We must learn to embrace the darkness by creating a stronger amount of Light to help transmute and dissolve it. Learning about shamanism will help you become stronger than the darkness around you.
Do you believe there is any difference between empathic skills and intuitive/psychic skills?
I don’t believe there is much difference. The bottom line is that we ALL can PERCEIVE ENERGY. That’s all that empaths do….and that’s all that any good psychic is doing. There are differences in how we choose to act on our abilities to perceive, but ultimately, it’s all about perceiving energy, at it’s core.
Thanks again to Dr. Michael Smith for sharing his empath experiences. You can join Dr. Michael Smith on Facebook here.
Need help? You can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, for the hotline to your Higher Self…